Angus finishers unhappy with LMC text

In recent weeks a number of farmers have again raised concerns about the weekly text message put out on Friday afternoons by the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) which shows cattle and sheep quotes for the coming week.

Most of those unhappy are finishers of Angus cattle, who allege the LMC text is effectively used to undermine premiums for their cattle. “I get a 30p/kg bonus for R grading Angus, but it is 30p above the LMC base price, and that base price is at least 10p wrong every week,” said a finisher.

The top U-3 quote noted in the LMC text is 394p/kg, and that figure has not changed since early July 2021. While the actual prices paid have also been relatively static over the period, they are consistently well above the quote, with 408p/kg widely available for U-3 grades at present.

“I pay £1 per head to the LMC, but they are costing us money. I know the LMC are only reporting what they are told by factories, but why bother at all?” queried the Angus finisher.

New ACA website

The Agricultural Consultants Association ACA (NI) has designed a new website to keep clients up to date with information regarding the completion of DAERA forms, regulations and any new schemes. The site includes a members’ locator which will display a name, address, contact number and email address for easy access to an agent. It can be found at

300 flocks register for scrapie scheme

A total of 300 sheep flocks in Britain registered for the Scrapie Qualifying Scheme (SQS) by the 31 December 2021 deadline.

The scheme, which will allow these flocks to continue selling sheep to NI, saw a late rush, with over 200 registering with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) in the last two weeks. Under the terms of the SQS, farmers can fast-track a scrapie accreditation process that would normally take up to seven years. Due to the NI protocol, all sheep entering NI from Britain since 1 January 2021 have had to be certified as scrapie monitored.

UFU environment plan given to Poots

The UFU has presented proposals to Minister for Agriculture Edwin Poots for a new agri environment scheme. The proposed Farming with Nature scheme is mainly focused on paying for environmental results. “We wanted to take a proactive approach in designing a future environment scheme rather than waiting for a DAERA consultation on this issue,” said UFU environment chair Bill Harpur.

In-lamb ewes sell to £245 in Ballymena

Suffolk and Texel-cross ewes sold to a top price of £245 in Ballymena Mart on Monday at the annual sale of in-lamb sheep from Simon Loughery, Drumsurn.

A total of 300 in-lamb sheep went under the hammer and sold to an average £183 per head, down slightly on the £185 recorded last year.

However, Monday’s sale was still well ahead of the 2019 trade, which saw in-lamb ewes averaging £155.

Farmers should hold on to carbon credits

A two-part report commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund and Tesco, and released at the Oxford Farming Conference (OFC), has urged farmers to think carefully before deciding to sell carbon credits.

The report points out that land-based carbon credits could be worth up to £1.7bn annually, but warns that if a farmer decides to sell to outside interests, then the carbon sequestered by soil or trees on their farm will not be set against emissions coming from agriculture.

“The reminder to those landowners keen to trade in these new markets is loud and clear; don’t jump too soon, and focus on offsetting your own emissions before giving opportunity to others to reduce their own,” said OFC director Emily Norton.